From Cheeky to Challenging: How Tech Celebrated Valentine’s Day 2021

February 25, 2021

This year's Valentine's Day was like none other in recent memory, with many of us celebrating — or spurning — the festivities under stay-at-home orders.

Beyond discount offers and special Valentine’s Day sales, many tech companies focused on helping consumers feel more connected and improving their wellbeing, while others chose to mark the day with specially timed announcements.

Here are five of my favorite stories showing how tech brands celebrated the day of love this year:

  1. Work Up a Sweat with Apple Watch

Apple Watch’s Heart Month Activity Challenge aimed to raise awareness of the importance of heart health — a critical issue in the pandemic — by tempting users with a virtual trophy if they complete at least 60 minutes of exercise on Valentine’s Day.

This followed Apple Watch’s recent release of a “Black Unity” collection in celebration of February’s Black History Month. Coinciding with the new collection’s debut was the “Unity Challenge,” where participants could win a badge by working out seven days in a row.

It’s reassuring to see Apple releasing a continued stream of challenges that gamify physical activity to keep people’s motivation up.

  1. Lost Your Mojo? Never Fear — This WhatsApp Helpline Is Here

Online sexual wellbeing platform Mojo launched a WhatsApp service that directly connected consumers with in-house experts who could discreetly discuss bedroom performance issues. By using WhatsApp, Mojo could cheekily offer its service on demand without having to overhaul its own platform.

Available for February 14 only, the “Mojo Helpline” was also intended to raise awareness that the date additionally marks National Impotence Day. This annual health event is part of an initiative that aims to educate the public about erectile dysfunction. 

Mojo’s campaign is an excellent example of a balanced approach to raising awareness on sensitive issues while offering real-time support using technology.

  1. A Fishy Date for Fortnite Players

Popular online video game Fortnite released Valentine’s Day-themed challenges to keep players occupied through the week. The first sent players on a quest to catch various types of fish to find a date for a character named Fishstick (a warning, perhaps, to watch out for online dating “catfishers”?). 

Epic, the company behind Fortnite, also released digital and printable cards themed around the game’s characters that players could send to friends and loved ones — a charming way to drive user engagement that keeps the brand front of mind.

  1. Friends Come First for OPPO

In this clever campaign, smartphone brand OPPO released research showing 78% of Brits will miss friends and family most on Valentine’s Day; only 10% said they’d miss their partners most. OPPO also teamed up with celebrity photographer Pixie Levinson to offer six winners a virtual photoshoot where their chosen person could be added to the photos with editing.

By focusing on relationships beyond the romantic while also offering a practical service that connects people, OPPO brought technology to the forefront of its campaign.

  1. Bumble’s Business of Love Makes Big Debut

While its stock technically began trading on February 11, dating app Bumble IPO-ed just in time for Valentine’s Day. The $2.15 billion IPO made Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd the world's youngest self-made female billionaire.

The Bumble app revolutionized the hetero online-dating world by ensuring only women could make the first move, and played a large role in changing the narrative of online dating forever. It’s no surprise that shares soared as investors “fell in love with” the app. Let’s hope Wolfe Herd’s growing profile continues to inspire diverse tech entrepreneurs.

Despite February 14 being a lonelier occasion than we’d all hoped, tech brands rose to the challenge of helping us navigate a new kind of Valentine’s Day. It will be fascinating to observe how tech brands celebrate other experiences that may have to be adapted this year, and continue to innovate new ways to connect. 

 

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